Aerobatic pre-solo checkride complete

Today marked the final dual flight before a big aviation milestone for me – my first solo aerobatic flight.

For today’s dual consolidation lesson we went over the main ‘Advanced Aircraft Control’ maneuvers once again just to confirm to the Chief Flying Instructor that I was (in his eyes) competent to go out there and do it on my own.

The 1.3 hour flight encompassed two spins from 6,000′ to 5,000′ above The Oaks over Western Sydney, one to the left and one to the right. Two things Doug told me to work on – a) when entering the spin stall the wings and kick rudder at the same time rather than one after the other and b) when recovering once the spin has stopped get my lazy foot off the rudder to stop us slipping out of the dive. Also I have to remember to get 135KIAS in the dive to airstart the prop in case we’ve dislodged the battery in the spin and the starter motor won’t restart it.

After that we flew back across to the Prospect pipeline at 4,000′ (where the photo above was taken) and went through the aerobatic sequence – Loop, Aileron Roll, Wingover, 60degree steep turn. My wingover was a little “aggressive” so we finessed that up a little and the steep turn was probably my worst maneuver as I was entering it a little nose up and not maintaining a constant AoA. The rest went well.

Doug then gave me a forced landing so I picked St Mary’s airstrip and was happy with our approach but carried a little too much height after turning too early on base. So I got the flaps down early and side-slipped us down to the runway and corrected the height error but I’ll work on that final base turn next time I go out to really nail the aim point and glide slope.

So a few areas to work on, but as long as I pass the theory exam (which I am studying for now) then at 9.30am on Saturday I’ll be doing it all over again without anyone in the right seat.

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